VIDA Blog
Jan 18 2017

The Lucky #VIDA10 Winners!

During our #VIDA10 contest we received over 100 personal testimonies from VIDA members filled with stories of growth, success, relationships formed and fitness improvements achieved during their time spent in our community. You all shared the unique ways you use VIDA to #MakeYourLifeBetter, and we are so proud to provide a supportive, health-minded environment that is a home away from home for so many. Ten submissions were chosen at random to be our #VIDA10 winners – and we’d like to congratulate the following individuals on their awesome new prizes! Winners will receive an email with prize redemption instructions. Thank you everyone for your sharing your stories!

 

WINNERS:

Jordan Vesey: One year free membership

“VIDA has helped me in so many ways! I went from rarely exercising about a year and a half ago when I joined, to being one of those so called “gym rats”. I have lost 13 lbs and counting, and I sleep better every night. The classes have become a fun staple to my daily routine, and the instructors who once intimidated me I now think of as friends I can chat with about anything. I feel and act more confident because of my fitness routine. I know that whenever I am experiencing anxiety, stress, or sadness I can come sweat it all out at VIDA and leave feeling like a new person. This might sound cheesy, but it’s true! VIDA has helped me change the way I think about fitness, encouraging me to push myself and keep up consistency. This is turn has had a huge impact on my psyche and my body.”

 

Max Magana: 6 Pack of Pilates Reformer

“VIDA U Street has slowly become my place of sanctuary. Yes, I go to physically workout, but mostly, I enter those doors to gather myself and take a moment away from life. It gives me time to think (or to completely stop thinking), to meditate, and refresh. Everyone in the VIDA community joined for a different reason, but it’s evident that we’re all there to make sure we end up better version of ourselves, in whatever way that manifests itself.”

 

Price Wootton: Full Nutrition Consultation

“VIDA is definitely the place you go to release stresses of the day and connect with friends who live in the community that you are so grateful and thankful for. Aside from being a state of the art gym facility, VIDA is the place where expectation has already been set. It is the place where you know you will get a good workout in no matter what kind of day you have had. It is the place where amenities take the experience to the next level. The place where you can strike up a conversation with a stranger and have a guaranteed awesome experience. I have been a VIDA member for over 3 years now and I couldn’t imagine joining a community such as this anywhere else. Cheers to 10 years!”

 

Teresa Danskey: MYZONE heart rate monitor

“I joined VIDA in order to get back into “dancer” shape, in time for audition season. Not only am I in the best cardio shape since my marathon days (over a decade ago), I’m reaching new flexibility and strength goals every week.  The classes are motivating, and the personal trainers are very invested in their clients. I look forward to continuing my membership with VIDA!”

 

Jaspreet Gill: 6 pack of TRX sessions

“VIDA inspires me to be better all the time. Everything from the people, the facilities at all of the locations, and the classes inspire me to work harder and to push myself. I used to go the gym 3 times a week before I joined VIDA but now I come almost every day because I can’t stay away! I am happy to be there over happy hour and brunch. I work in leadership development and we always tell our clients that you can’t be psychologically ready to lead if you aren’t physically fit to lead–thank you VIDA for keep me physically fit so I can be mentally fit to lead!”

 

Katie Cheng: 12 pack of Personal Training Sessions

“I first joined VIDA Metropole back in 2009 when I first moved to DC.  At the time I was overweight and out of shape and might not have joined had it not been for one of my roommates who pushed me to try it.  Though progress was slow, fitness became a regular part of my routine, not least in part thanks to the welcoming community at VIDA where, rather than feeling judged for my lack of fitness, I was encouraged to keep working and trying.  That same spirit is even more evident today than it was seven years ago.  Since that time, I moved to LA, spent a summer back in DC (and joined VIDA), moved back to DC permanently for two years, and am about to move away again.  Someone recently asked me what I would miss most about DC, and I answered honestly that it was my gym.  Though there are many teachers who have welcomed, pushed, and inspired me to find muscles and endurance I never knew I had (thanks Ronnie and Tami!), one in particular deserves special mention, as it reflects all the ways that VIDA is more than just a gym: Chris P.  While I first went to his class for the physical benefits, I have walked away with a deeper awareness not just in my yoga practice but in my life more generally.  Each class is imbued with a sense of community and support where each person can take from the practice what they need.  For me, learning how to let go might be the most difficult aspect of yoga, but also perhaps the one I needed the most – and found at Vida.  I am undoubtedly a happier and healthier person because of Vida, and I only wish I could take the Vida community with me on my next adventure!”

 

Lynn Kim: 12 guest passes

“What VIDA means to me is a place where I can stay fit in a supportive and fun environment. The front desk staff is amazing and so friendly. The membership team led by Alex is so helpful. The cleaning staff is hard working and Tara the manager was committed to customer service. Great teamwork creates a great community. Thank you!!!”

 

John White: 3 month free membership

“No matter how stressful my workday, dating life or the election cycle is, a workout, sauna and cold shower always reset my mood to being in love with life.  Thanks, VIDA.”

 

Adena Schutzman: 60 minute massage from Aura spa

“VIDA gave me the confidence I needed to walk down the aisle.  After moving back to DC last year, I was burnt out from a very demanding job.  I had stopped going to the gym and my fitness level generally deteriorated.  I was carrying extra weight and felt lethargic and unhappy.  On top of that, I was getting married in less than 12 months and wanted to look and feel my best.  I joined VIDA and took advantage of their group fitness classes.  The instructors were fun and exciting.  I loved coming to class and working out to great music.  I learned how to use new equipment during personal training sessions and saw parts of my bodies gain strength and definition.  I also loved that every time I stepped into the locker room, it felt like I was entering  a spa, instead of a sweaty gym.  By the time my wedding rolled around, I was feeling my best and I credit VIDA for that.  Thank you for getting me back into shape!”

 

Frank Parrish: $100 VIDA gift card

“I joined VIDA in 2009, as a way to meet people and manage stress. I always had an interest in working out but after moving to DC, I wanted to find a hobby that promoted a more positive lifestyle than the bar scene. With destination and local locations, I regularly meet up with friends for classes, workouts or to pool. I really enjoy my membership and the benefit that it has brought to my life. Thanks VIDA!”

 

 

Jan 3 2017

Faces of VIDA: New Metropole GM Ashley Banek!

ashley-banek

New Metropole GM, Ashley Banek!

A few months back we welcomed a new face to our Metropole management team – Colorado native Ashley Banek! This health & wellness enthusiast joined our team in late August, and has officially settled in as the new General Manager at Metropole. She comes from a background of both finance and biomedical sciences, which makes managing a fitness center an obvious career choice.

Ashley developed an interest of the human body around the age of 9, after losing her dad to cancer. It sparked her interest in anatomy and physiology and she discovered she had a knack for it throughout high school and college. While her passion has always been in the health field, she also excelled at finance, and she graduated in 2010 with BS in Finance and minor in Biomedical Sciences from Colorado State University.

“I like to find the happy medium between the two. I worked for a hospital for two years right after college, treating patients and trying to find that business & health balance,” she says.

After two years in the hospital field, Ashley was ready to grow professionally and decided to make the shift over to the finance world. She started as a teller for Wells Fargo, and hustled her way up to a Branch Manager in only nine months. The sales, team building and competitive environment were all right up her alley, but she found herself missing the health mindedness of the medical world.

“Complacency has never been comfortable for me. I started mentally shifting back to what I’ve always been passionate about – helping people live healthier lives,” she says.

She eventually landed a management position at the Medical Fitness Center at University of Colorado Health, a community gym that also provides medical massage, physical therapy, and therapy pools for clients with recovery needs. She quickly fell in love with working in the fitness industry, and found that helping people use physical fitness as medicine that’s preventative rather than prescriptive incredibly inspiring.

So what brings her to DC?

At the start of the summer, Ashley and three of her closest hometown friends got a wild idea. One friend plays for the Washington Spirit and was already living in DC, and the group always had a blast coming to visit the nation’s capitol. They each decided they were ready for a change, and started applying for jobs in DC. Ashley knew she wanted to be in the health & fitness industry – and when she came across a VIDA job listing she knew she had found the company she wanted to work for.

“I was really impressed with the community at VIDA and their involvement after the Orlando shooting. I read great things about how involved with important causes VIDA was and I really wanted to work here after that,” she explains.

After a series of interviews, phone calls and plane rides, Ashley accepted our job offer on the same day her best friend was offered a job in DC. They had their “this is really happening” moment, packed up a car, and headed across the country!

Ashley now lives in Potomac, MD with her three girlfriends, and says she couldn’t be happier with her new life chapter in DC! Her role as a General Manager allows her to have an impact on both our members and team members lives in a positive way, and she loves helping people take charge of both their health and careers.

“I love the family atmosphere that VIDA embodies, and I hope to be able to continue that! Being able to help coach and develop others is my top priority. I had several great mentors starting my career in Colorado, and I hope to be a great resource for my team here,” she says.

As a DC newbie, Ashley has been busy exploring her new digs when she’s not running the gym! Despite an ill-timed broken toe during her first week here, she’s been attending as many group fitness classes as she can (hot yoga and Pilates are her fave,) scoping out the District’s best Mexican restaurants, and finding new biking, hiking and running trails to stay active outside of the gym.

She misses her family (nephews especially!) back home, but is very excited for this new chapter and helping people take charge of their bodies in an inspiring, health-minded environment.

“Between my Wells Fargo, health and medical experience, I feel very prepared for this job. I’m excited to continue meeting our members and grow my team!” says Ashley.